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Batch PAK DA production to begin in 2027


Batch production of the Russian Prospective Airborne Complex of Long-Range Aviation (PAK DA) is to begin in 2027. Preliminary trials are scheduled in April 2023 and acceptance trials in February 2026, according to the contract of the Tupolev Design Bureau for the R&D of rescue means for the new aircraft. The Izvestia daily obtained a copy.


Batch PAK DA production to begin in 2027 PAK DA (Picture source: pravda.ru)


Stealth PAK DA will be invisible for radars. The latest aircraft will be armed with hypersonic missiles to hit strategically important facilities from a distance of thousands of kilometers and remain invulnerable for fighter jets.

The contract stipulates the production of three prototypes of the bomber. Preliminary trials of the prototypes, including the rescue system, are to begin in April 2023 and be completed in the autumn of 2025. Acceptance trials will follow.

The crew will comprise four men like in Tu-160 strategic bomber. Twelve ejection seats will be produced for the first PAK DA. Their creation and batch production preparation will cost 500 million rubles.

"An aircraft is preliminary tested in the main regimes. It takes 50-100 flights and from a half to a full year. The trials expose design drawbacks for elimination. The aircraft then begins acceptance trials when absolutely everything is checked. The aircraft is tested at various temperatures, speed and altitudes," test pilot and Hero of Russia Igor Malikov said.

The new aircraft will for the first time take off during factory trials. Several flights are usually made. They include takeoff, one-two circles and landing. The chassis is not withdrawn. It is important to see that the aircraft can fly. The stage takes from two months to half a year, Malikov said.

In 2017, then Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said the flight trials of the first prototypes could begin in 2025. The production may be launched in 2028-2029.

"The transition to a new generation is a technically complicated and long process. The acceptance trials are likely to take over two years. The prospective bomber uses new chemical materials and paint. It has a different design," Malikov said.

The military determined the final concept of the bomber in July 2017. In the end of the year, the Tupolev signed a contract for Poslannik-1 R&D to create the combat aircraft. The design of rescue means is a component part of the project.

Since 2019, the Tupolev has been engaged in rough design. The military decided that PAK DA should be subsonic with a low signature and a Hybrid Wing Body. In early 2017, a full-size mockup and a digital model appeared. The aircraft will have longer flight duration than Tu-160 and a bigger payload. PAK DA is to be armed with hypersonic missiles.

In late December 2019, Deputy Defense Minister Alexey Krivoruchko said defense enterprises began to build PAK DA elements for the first prototypes.

The government procurement website said engine trials are to begin on Il-76 flying laboratory in 2020. The contract for the engine was concluded by the United Engine Corporation and the Tupolev Company in June 2018. The engine has to ensure at least 30 hours of flight to the stealth aircraft.

"The operational strategic bombers have not exhausted their potential. The Americans do not plan to abandon B-52 designed in 1950s. Turboprop Tu-95MS are properly operating. Supersonic Tu-160 are being upgraded. However, their life cycle will end sooner or later and a replacement should be prepared already now," expert Vladimir Anokhin said.

PAK DA is a new stage in the design which is important for the aircraft industry and the training of engineers. The new platform can be developed and upgraded for many years, the Izvestia said.


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